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“What a great hotel!!”
Review of Hotel Palma Real

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Hotel Palma Real
Ranked #49 of 64 Hotels in Varadero
Reviewed 28 August 2014

I had a blast at this hotel. It is very big, large pools etc
The food was good too, and the view from my room balcony was to die for!
The best part was the staff! Tons of friendly, happy, nice cubans that serve you like a king!
I really dont have anything bad to say about that hotel. I paid 1000$ for 15 days and it was absoluetly worth every dollar!
Compared to other 3 1/2 stars i have been too, this one was by far the best. The only little downside for me was that it was not adults only, and as a single 24 year old, sometimes kids are a bit much for me but eh!! Im easy going still....
I would go back anytime if the price is right!
Finally I would like to name a few of the poeple that served us during our vacation, and I hope the manager reads this because those poeple work hard and they do an amazing job.
Ivett, bartender, friendly and nice
Tatica, bartender, so sweet and friendly
Barbaro, server at buffet, amazing service
Lazaro Hernandes, server at buffet, amazing service
Barbara, bartender, sweetest woman and beautiful
Oscar, security guard always smiling and helpful
Another (black skin) lady that worked mostly at night in the snack bar, she was just so sweet and nice, I saw other tourists be rude to her and she kept her pretty and professional face on!! So sorry I forgot her name...
Our maid, which I dont know her name either but she was amazing and brought me a gift on my last day!! Room 1327 building by the pool.
See you soon Palma Real !!!

  • Stayed: August 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank Wanderlustquebecgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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587 - 593 of 2,749 reviews

Reviewed 26 August 2014

I went to Palma Real from August 6 to 16, 2014. The weather was very warm and humid. I have been going to Cuba for the last 30 years and travelling solo for 10 and this hotel is average to what i have come to know in Cuba. It all depends on what you want from your vacation. The rooms: I was in the last building (4000) first floor. Nice room and the AC worked. I even had to close it sometimes because it was too cold. For those who don't like the smell in the room, i always bring a small bag of incense cones, just light one a day and the smell goes. The Food: well it is cuba and not everything is always available, but we have more options in the hotels than the cuban. And if the food is that bad, there is always restaurants on the 1er avenue. Good coffee is available in the lobby bar. There is also hamburgers, hot dogs and ham sandwiches if you are tired of the buffet. The cooks at the buffet makes great shrimps or fish a la plancha and other meats as well.

The beach is gorgeous and a short walk from the hotel. They have 2 swimming pools. One was pretty quiet and the other had entertainment every afternoon.

The service is ok. I speak spanish, smiled and gave tips every once in a while. Got to know a few of the workers. And yes the cuban national where at this hotel. They now have access to the resorts and those that can afford them go. Got to exchange with a few of them.

If you want to learn a little bit more of salsa, go and see Maya at 2 in the afternoon at the show theatre. She gives advanced classes every afternoon except sundays. She is pretty good.

Cuba is what you make of it. You may or may not like this hotel. If you want a small hotel close to the city with access to a nice beach then go, you will enjoy it

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Peggy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2014

I decided to go to Cuba in July - price was great $1700 CDN for two in all-inclusive resort in Varadero - couldn't resist.

The people in Cuba are very friendly and helpful. My waiterwaitress (Jesus and Libia) at the buffet would welcome me every day and would remember the drinks my wife and I ordered and had them always ready for us - feel free to leave a tip for this extra service as it was nice to be greeted at the buffet and to be looked after so well.

The beach is simply amazing. The water was warm and crystal clear and there was barely anyone in July so we could go to the beach at any time and use a lounge chair. At times it felt like we had the beach all to ourselves. I found that there was some garbage on the beach and would like to see more garbage cans on the beach.

The room was clean but basic and nothing to write home about. The air conditioner would not work 100% but if you turned it off for a bit when you left the room,it would not freeze up and it would work at night. The water would shut off sometimes during the day as well for a brief time. The maid always made the room and left a different towel design daily. The pools were beautiful and I often had the pool all to myself.

The all-inclusive bars were great and I tried a variety of concoctions during my stay. I never had to wait for than a minute in line for drinks.

The all-inclusive food was OK and there was a variety at the buffet but nothing great that stood out. I kept trying to reserve for the "a-la-carte" but the lady who was supposed to be at her desk to reserve was never there even after I asked at the reception. In the future I would like to at least try the "a-la-carte" restaurants but the hotel will have to improve the reservation methods for it.

The reception people were very polite and friendly. One lady saw that it was my birthday when I checked-in (off my passport) and was quick to wish me a happy birthday.

As for attractions, #1 is the beach by far. #2 would be the Beatles Bar which is walking distance from the hotel - the band is great and the beer is relatively cheap. #3 is the Coral Bay snorkelling - it's definitely worth the price and our guide also took us to the Saturno Cave which was awesome - thanks Alfred. #4 was the people who are always kind and courteous. #5 - Havana - take a trip to Havana for a day if you want to see the city - I found it eye-opening.

Also, right beside the hotel is the House of Rum where you can get free samples but don't buy there as it is $10 there and $3 at the grocery store two block away.

I enjoyed my stay partly because it was very quiet and sunny every day. I never had to rush to the beach for a lounge chair or wait in line for drinks or food.

In the end, if I went back to Cuba, I would probably choose a nicer hotel even though the people were great. The location of the Palma Real is also excellent - beside a lot of places.

Bottom line - people and attractions great, hotel and food - just OK.

Room Tip: Go with building 1, 2, or 3. 4 and 5 are further away
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
9  Thank ManitobaManitoba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2014

Just returned from a week with our son. Met Annie-Luu-N there and agree with all she said, apart from the locals staying at the hotel. They are either Venezuelan, Columbian or Brazilian. Locals could not stay there.
Cubans are warm, friendly people with the odd exception, the driver of horse carriage 21 who ripped us off and the staff at the El Ranchero restaurant who tried to.
These are our top tips, I wish someone had told us:
Take insulated traveler mugs for your drinks at the hotel, keeps you drinks cold and you don't have to have the stupid plastic cups. All the south Americans knew this.
Take enough toothpaste, it's a hell of a job to find there (beauty shops do it) in fact take everything you may need, wipes, sanitiser, etc. OH! Immodium is a must, we know!
Agree the price of the taxi for the whole trip, for all the group. Said thief in Horse 21 cab agrees price at 10 CUC for the trip and then says on arrival it's 10 each. They all trot out the line it's not them, it's the government. Call the police is my suggestion and let him explain to the government.
Every waiter will try and sell the men cigars on the sly. Don't pay more than 1 CUC each.
Tipping your waiter may get you better service, but they change them round every couple of days so it doesn't last long.

The food is pretty rubbish, in the hotel and restaurants. The best was the Barbacoa and you can get some descent wine there.
The food in the buffet at the hotel is obviously recycled if not consumed, and makes regular reappearances. They have a ploy of bringing out the best stuff; pork chops, chicken, etc. five minutes before the buffet shuts at 9.30. Nobody takes it as its closing and it disappears back to the kitchen at 9.30 sharp for the staff dinner. I don't blame them, but your paying for it. Surprise them and grab it.

The building quality of the hotel is terrible. I would be surprised if the place hasn't fallen down in 20 years. It's almost laughable the lack of care the painters took, pretty much everything else is terrible. Don't get a Cuban handyman!
We never saw the pools cleaned all week and the filtration is suspect, all the skimmers are full of cups and the water level doesn't even reach them. The pool drains are a forest of hair. Swim with your mouth shut. All three of us have had stomach upsets during our stay and still have, I suspect the pool water.
We did two tours, one to Havana and the Jeep safari.
The Havana tour was full of interesting Cuban history and our guide knew her stuff. The old city was "Old", nothing new to us as we're from Europe. Frankly the rest of Havana looks like Kabul without the bullet holes. Images of Che Guevara everywhere, it's a shame they can't stop celebrating the revolution and get on with life. Not the average Cubans fault though. You get very little time to explore on your own and are taken incessantly to shopping opportunities at flea markets, all the same stuff that is not worth buying.
A contrived tour to extract your cash for the benefit of the Mr. C.
The jeep tour consists driving Suzuki 4x4's around Matanzas and the countryside. If you can't drive a manual gearbox car, there's no autos. Good day out to see the countryside, there's snorkelling, a farm trip and lunch and finished off with a trip to a cave pool. It gives you a glimpse of life away from the resorts. A bit pricey though and ours spoilt by four A h***s from Sudbury.

Having been to many other countries, the worst thing about Cuba is the way it's run. Compare it to India where they are poorer but free, give me India. You just get the feeling your only there for the benefit of the state. Don't think I'll return, Cuban people deserve more.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Chris C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2014 via mobile

We just got back from Palma real. First time visiting Cuba. Was a cheap summer get away for us. It's very hot here at this time. Plus 40 everyday with humidity. There were ALOT of locals staying at this resort, not many Canadians. A lot of Russian, Germany, UK.
Check in was a bit slow, one staff working only. And there wasn't even a line up. How ever our room was ready even though it was just about noon hour.
The bell boy brought us to our room with our luggage. First impression of the grounds were very out dated and run down. Elevator was kinda scary looking small. We stayed in room 1328, third floor. Keeping an open mind the room was very standard. Basic needs we're there. Bed was very used. You can feel the springs sometimes. Fridge doesn't get cold at all. We didn't use the safe there is a fee I believe. The shower had very strong water pressure. And the toilet keeps running water. Everything worked. Even the air condition worked fine. One problem is around 2-4 am light sleepers can hear drunks getting back to there rooms. The doors have a crack at the bottle where you can hear everything from kids running around to doors slamming. You only get 1 bottle of water in your room for the whole visit. So I suggest bringing a refillable bottle from home to use through out that week.

The beach is about 2-5min easy walk from the resort. Varadero does have beautiful beaches and this was our main reason to visit. Soft sand, clear clam water. We had very warm water. You can walk out about 30 meters and still be on your feet. We kept seeing small fish and jelly fish that don't bite. The bad part about this beach in the summer time is there's a lot of locals coming here. They pay for chairs which take up our resort side. There's a bar behind the beach for the resort. With 3 options of snack only hamburger, hot dog and ham and cheese sandwich.

The main buffet restaurant for breakfast lunch and dinner were lacking options. Breakfast was good. But lunch and dinner you would have the same thing from the last day. By far one of the worst place to eat we've been to. As for a la carte. The desk opens 10-12 and it fills up quick. They allow 10 people per the half an hour only. We finally got Chinese the last night. It's open air so with in the 10 mins we got there I got 10 misquote bites right away. Made it hard to enjoy dinner.

We didn't use the pools at all. Pool #2 was very quiet. Where the main pool had the music and entertainment going on.

If you have time to walk the streets outside the resort. It's safe and no one hustles. There's small markets, a mall small restaurants and some vendors. We had dinner at the barbacoa. We had the steak and lobster. Was very good meal better then the resort food. We also went to the Cuban restaurant in the garden on the left hand side of the strip. Can't remember the name of it. A full Cuban meal with soup salad drink and dessert was $18 per person.

Over all this country is beautiful. The beach is worth the visit. Yet the resort isn't the greatest. It's a 2-3 star for sure. And if you get a deal $650-700 I would say go for it.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
6  Thank Annie-Luu-N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014

I booked this trip through Air Canada Vacations. I had a party to attend in matanzas and celebrate my dad's 91st B-day. I arrived to the hotel and I had two heavy luggage. Security was there but seem useless never helped me with a luggage. It was two receptionists socialized with new drinkers they have arrived that morning day. I was so upset. Finally after half an hour they directed me to my room was clean air conditioner. What do you expect of communist country in a everyday menu. I cannot complain I enjoy the food very much same as my dad. Of curse the Cubans have more preference for the outside Cubans than the tourists. Average was very good food very good customer service not so good. They always expect for any little thing a dollar CUC is no much, no stingy but all the time just for doing her own job. Just one advise management should be changed. Have better upgrade in the rooms lizards and bugs coming all the time and the towels are not changed every two days. Since the moment that I have arrived they never changed the towels or bed sheets. I don't think this hotel is consideres 4 stars two or three are okay. Anyway that is my opinion

Room Tip: Location is great. Safety Great Just 10 minutes walk to the Ocean
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank SUNMOON-11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

First few days were great, than no air conditioning or water. That was a Thurs, came back on for few hours than was out again and never came back on, we left on a Sunday. We were told by rep it would cost to move us, or if we wanted to leave earlier it would cost 300.00 each for flight. The staff could not help us in any way. My first and last trip. Location was excellent.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank neveragain1232014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Palma Real

Address: 64 St | 62 And 1st, Varadero 42200, Cuba (Formerly BelleVue Palma Real)
Region: Caribbean > Cuba > Matanzas Province > Varadero
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#25 Luxury Hotel in Varadero
#31 Top resorts Hotel in Varadero
#36 On the Beach Hotel in Varadero
Price Range: £66 - £163 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Palma Real 4*
Number of rooms: 466
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Also Known As:
Hotetur Palma Real Hotel
Palma Real Cuba
Hotetur Palma Real Varadero
Hotel Palma Real Cuba
Palma Real Varadero Cuba
Palma Real Hotel Cuba
Varadero Palma Real
Hotel Palma Real Varadero Cuba

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